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Sailor Moon is Superflat

 

Artwork from Takashi Murakami at the Hong Kong art fair 2010

Artwork from Takashi Murakami at the Hong Kong art fair 2010

Sailor Moon (1992 – 1997) transcended Japanese anime and reached a pure state of corrosiveness. Sailor Moon is an artificial flavouring substance: superficial, highly satisfying and addictive. It is, more than any of Takashi Murakami‘s works of art, the best illustration of his superflat art movement, depicting “the shallow emptiness of Japanese consumer culture”. The original manga is somehow spiritual. The anime version, on the other hand, expunged the story of any particularity, leading to the ultimate stereotype of the Japanese girl, flanked with kitschy accessories ready for merchandising, cheap love stories and consumerist lifestyles. The girls’ transformation into self-centred wonder women is the climax of every episode. The same scenes of transformations are shown again and again, becoming objects of cult: obsessive and hypnotic. They saturate the narrative with their flatness.

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